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[untitled]

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00:30:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Channel 89 (615 MHz)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
544

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480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

San Francisco 13, Us 6, The City 4, Brown 2, America 2, Los Angeles 2, Southern California 2, United States 1, Carmen Chu 1, Larry Hardy 1, Uc 1, Chu 1, Berkeley 1, Black Rock City 1, Wanton 1, Chinatown 1, The Budget 1, Occidental 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    October 6, 2012
    12:30 - 12:59pm PDT  

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>> hello. welcome to "meet your district supervisor." we are here with supervisor carmen chu from district four, which includes the central and outer sunset and park side neighborhood. supervisor chu was elected to the board of supervisors in 2008 and reelected in 2010. we will get to know her and talk about the toughest issues facing the city. welcome, supervisor. thank you for joining us. let's start by talking about your background -- where you grew up, what kinds of jobs you have work. supervisor chu: my parents immigrated to the united states about 30 years ago, and i would say that is probably the most formative part of my background. growing up in an immigrant family, you learn many things. my parents raised me in southern california, and i grew up in the restaurant business. they had a small restaurant at the time, and i was there every weekend, working -- well, not working, eating. having a fried egg roll, wanton, something good.
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it taught me the value of working hard and what it meant to be part of a small business, a small business -- a small business, small family, and an immigrant family at that. really being impacted by the los angeles riots, when that occurred, put me on the path toward public policy and understanding what it meant to have opportunities and not have opportunities in our various communities. >> why did you choose to live in san francisco? supervisor chu: i came to the area to pursue a master's degree in public policy at the uc- berkeley school. ever since then, i fell in love with what a wonderful area the bay area is. >> what motivated your interest in politics? supervisor chu: to be frank, i never saw myself in an elected position at all. i had grown up in southern california, and during the first day of the los angeles riots, my parents had their cars stolen at gunpoint. they were left out and had to
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pay someone $100 to get back to chinatown. it really influenced me. we had a restaurant at the time, and at the time, we were always worried, watching the news, to see whether or not the restaurant would be looted, whether or not it would go up in fire. that was something that was a big concern and worry for my family at the time. i remember thinking even at that age how important it was to consider what the economics were in communities, whether people had or felt that they had opportunities or did not have opportunities, and what role it was that government played in those outcomes. that is what really put me on the path to public policy. so i pursued public policy both at occidental college, where i went to school as an undergrad, and also you see-berkeley where i pursued public policy -- also you see -- also uc-berkeley.
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that was really what shape my interest in public policy. >> where you place yourself on the local political spectrum? the left or right? supervisor chu: i know a lot of folks want to put a person in the position where they call you left, progressive, moderate, whatever category that might be, and i think it really depends on the issue. generally, i am a very practical legislator. i like to look at what the impacts of legislation would be before voting on it, so i think, depending on the issue, you could move around, and i think that should be the way that most people think, which is, "let's consider the facts of legislation before you actually consider it, irrespective of what spectrum it comes from." >> what did you learn from campaigning for supervisor? supervisor chu: it is hard. i learned that my shoes were out pretty quickly -- wore out pretty quickly. i learned to be more practical about the types of shoes i war,
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of course, but overall, i learned how important it is to communicate with people about what it is you would like to do. in any campaign and any political idea that comes forward, there are misconceptions about candidates, about people, about issues. the most important thing you can do to break through that is to have direct conversations in people's living rooms and talk to them about the issues that you see are pressing and what you are working on and explain your values to people. at the end of the day, they can choose to support you or not support you, support your issue or not, but at the end of the day, at least you are not perpetuating misinformation. at the end of the day, i enjoyed getting to know the people out there. in terms of interesting jobs, this has to be one of the most interesting jobs. you work on a whole host of issues all year round, and you meet so many interesting people along the way. so i really enjoyed that. >> what are the biggest issues
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facing san francisco now? supervisor chu: i would say that really taking a look at our budget and where we see ourselves going is going to be a big, paramount issue. this year, i served as chair for the budget and finance committee, and that is definitely a focus for me in the coming year. we are also looking at how it is that we continue to have systemic gaps in our budget year after year. what are the reasons for that? what are the cost drivers that might be driving it? what are the not-controllable economic conditions that drive that? part of the issue will be pension reform. that is something that i think is on the minds of many people, not only in san francisco, but elsewhere around the nation, and it certainly will be a topic here as we look at how it is we can control some of our costs and understand where our trajectory of our budget deficit is going to be. certainly, the budget is not simply a numbers issue. it has a big impact when you
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translate it into the lives of our residents. when you are talking about deficits that may impact the morning commute because you write muni -- you ride muni, or whether we're talking about closing down seven facilities, or whether we're talking about impacts to services, there is an impact to residents, so i think that impact of the budget is big, as well as economic growth for our residents. >> what are the biggest issues for your district? supervisor chu: sunset district is a great district. it has many residents who are families. we have a lot of families in our district. lots of kids, lots of seniors, people who have raised their families there for many generations, and one of the paramount thing is, aside from the larger issues that are important to the entire city -- i think the big issue that is really in people's minds is the state of the economy. how is it that we are going to be able to bring down the
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unemployment rate in san francisco? how is it that we can have sustainable job growth in different sectors in san francisco? how is it that our future generations -- our kids and use -- are trained so they are able to take advantage of what is emerging -- our kids and youth. weather is the health care industry and other things that might be looking rosier -- whether it is the health care industry and other things that might be looking rosier in terms of job activity. >> how will you balance the needs of your district against the needs of the city as a whole? >> -- supervisor chu: a lot of people ask that question. they ask how you can be an effective supervisor and have the city's overall interests in mind, but the thing people often lose is the fact that what is good for the city often times is good for our residents as well. if we are seeing huge economic uncertainty or recessions that
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are impacting, let's say, the downtown core where many of our businesses are located, that has a huge impact on my residents who are commuting downtown for work every day. i do not think that is so much about balancing one over the other, and it is not always whether one has a different side or a different perspective. i think that being able to watch over the city's interests, making sure we have a good economy, strong foundation overall, is a benefit to the residents in my district as well as other places. the balance between city-wide interest and district residents sometimes are not as far as people think. >> once again, the city is faced with tough budget decisions, including where to make cuts and where to increase taxes and fees. how will you approach these difficult choices? supervisor chu: we know that our budget deficit is a significant one. at the moment, blooms are around $380 million -- at the moment, it looms around $380
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million. we could not meet that gap. i think the city needs to take a balanced approach, and if you take a look at previous years, we have taken a look at things like where are fee revenues, what do those look like? where are the changes in other revenue pictures, whether it is transfer tax or hotel tax or other things that help to improve the picture. in addition to that, how is it that we can really control some of our expenses? i think that in order to address the $380 million budget deficit, we really have to take a look at both sides, revenue side as well as the cost side of things, and i think there are certain things that the city can do right now that might that not impact this year's budget or -- that might not impact this year's budget for next year's budget but will have a long-term effect. i mean pension reform and some of the ways we calculate those liabilities. those will be important topics to think about as we go forward. >> what are the city's housing
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needs, and what do you think the board of supervisors should be doing to address those? supervisor chu: it is no secret -- you talk to any person on the street, and people recognize generally that it is expensive to live in san francisco. standard of living for cost of living is a little bit higher here. housing prices are a little bit higher. i think that we have done or we have focused on a city very much on providing housing for very low-income residents in san francisco, and there is always more to do in that area, but one area we really should begin to look at is also what are we doing for middle-income housing? the creation of middle-income housing. what are we doing to provide opportunities for families who would like to stay in san francisco? are we doing the types of homes that are actually workable for someone who is the two-income
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earner in the family? i think that is the next area to look at for housing. >> tell us about the transportation situation in your district. is there adequate muni service? is there parking and traffic? >> -- supervisor chu: traffic issues are always big ones. pedestrian safety issues. it is not any different. we as a district have 19th avenue cutting right through our residential areas. that is a state highway. we have 80,000 cars that go by every single day. traffic issues are always a big concern for us in the district. aside from that, we also know that there really does need to be more improvements in the muni system. we are served primarily by a few rail lines and bus lines, and much like other districts who have been impacted by different service changes across the
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years, we have seen, for example, early turn back in our district, and we are working to resolve that issue. for many people, being let out at sunset boulevard is simply not acceptable when you have many more blocks to go before the end of the line. there is definitely big rooms for improvement with transportation in our district. >> what about crime in your district? how do you think the police department is doing, and how do you think the city is doing in general with respect to crime? supervisor chu: i know we have been acting chief at this moment and the police commission is working to try to find an individual who can step in and lead the department. we know there are many things going in the right direction with the police department, but there is a lot of things to work on. technology is something we really need to focus on and make investments in in order to allow our police forces to be more effective, to be able to communicate more clearly with
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other law-enforcement agencies. that is something that we do need to work on. with regards to crime in the district, i would say that our district is more impacted by a lot of property crime. we see many cars being broken into. many quality of life issues -- graffiti. we see cars being stolen, those kinds of issues. we do have other kinds of incidences. shootings that might have occurred, but they are not as frequent. our quality of life issues and burglary issues are more prevalent. with some of the recent changes with the police department to get investigators out to the district stations, i think that has been a big improvement and will help focus some of the investigators' time to deal with crimes that people might not think our high impact, but have a big footprint in terms of our district's crime rates.
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but governor brown has proposed -- >> governor brown has proposed redevelopment agencies. hawhat are your thoughts on tha? supervisor chu: we currently have plans that really are dependent on having the development agencies and the financing mechanisms that helped it. i think that the redevelopment agency plays a very strong role in the development in some of our more blighted areas. to completely do away with the redevelopment agency would be a significant shock and change to the system, and i think we really need to understand what that will be before it should happen. i am a strong believer that the redevelopment agency played a strong will also in the creation of affordable housing in this city. to the extent that that money is taken away and we are not able to accomplish some of those
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goals with the financing mechanism, it would be a big step back for the city. >> what are your thoughts on the city's economic development? are we on the right track? what would you like to change about the city's approach to developing the economy? supervisor chu: in some aspects, our economic development is on the right track. if you take a look at some of the successes -- mission bay, for example, has been a success where we have been able to attract biotech corporations to come and headquartere in the city. we are currently building a hospital, and there are a lot of research institutions, and i think that will be a great anchor for the city. the city has worked closely with contractors to figure out how we can do hiring locally. this is through our citybuild program where we help
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individuals gain the skills needed to work in construction jobs. we have a number of big projects that are really generating the job growth and place for people to be working. so i think that in terms of the pace and number of projects that we have, in terms of identifying some key sectors to attract, in terms of providing rebates for films to come and fill in san francisco and generate additional moneys -- that is something that is a movement in the right direction. we need to work on how we do a job training in san francisco. there are many different departments and many different players, and how it is where we train our work force, whether it is youth as a community, people preparing to train for different jobs -- we have a lot of folks involved, and we did not yet have a centralized way of doing it and making sure we are targeting the right sectors. so i think we have got some work
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to do in that area. >> talk about the role of sports in the city's economic future. are you happy with plans for the america's cup? do you think the city should spend money to keep the 49ers? supervisor chu: america's cup has the potential to serve as an economic engine for us. we knew that going in, and that is why it was such an important effort on the city's part, to bring that activity to san francisco. not only would it result in improvements on the pier that we were not able to afford any other way, but it helps to bring about jobs, people coming to visit, helping with our tourism industry, everything else associated with having a major event in the city. that is something that helps bring up the economic opportunities of a community, and that is very important. if you think about the role of sports in san francisco, we have to think about the giants and
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how amazing that whole experience was for us in terms of the world series. we had people in my district as we were coming in for the parade on muni. everybody was dressed in giants colors. everybody was in such an elated mood. everybody was brought together, no matter what ethnicity, what community, what neighborhood, what socio-economic place you were from. people were excited and happy. that is something that is very unique to sports, that sports can pull people together. very much in the same way, the 49ers are an important part of the community and san francisco 's identity, and i would love to do what we can to help them today. >> if you have a lot of projects in your district that you are excited about. can you share any information about the goings on in your district? supervisor chu: our district again has so many families, and we think about how we plan for
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the future and make sure that the next generation has the amenities that we do not have right now, and we have got a new poll that has recently opened up that we are so happy about -- we have a new pool that has recently opened up that we are so happy about. it is already well utilize. we have two playgrounds currently in the process of being remodeled in addition to a brand-new library that is opening up. we are very excited about what this means for the many kids and families who use the library, go to the parks and plate, and who really just utilize those public services. there are many exciting changes, and we are happy to see them open up. >> what is the playground remodel? what does that look like? supervisor chu: we have playgrounds that were built so many years ago that had our senate in the wood, if you can imagine that. some of the swing sets were
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breaking apart. we have stand still, some people would find broken glass and other things in the sand, so with the remodel, we are seeing completely new equipment being placed on the playgrounds. the new rubberized services, which gets away at the broken glass and other things people might find in the sand. there are so many kids in the district that i think everyone will benefit and see the changes as a positive. >> are there any other issues that concern you that we have not discussed? for a specific interest you plan to concentrate on through your term as supervisor -- or a specific interest you plan to concentrate on? supervisor chu: this year is going to be budget, budget, budget, and i think that will keep us pretty full. >> we have to wrap up, and we thank you for joining us on "meet your district supervisor." watch for the next episode of "meet your district supervisor"
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when we will be back with another of our 11 city supervisors. good evening and welcome to tonight's meeting of the commonwealth club in formed division, connect your intellect. that is our tagline. i am the president of the inform board. tonight, we have larry hardy. the founder of burning man and he is here to talk about the amazing place and phenomenon known as black rock city. he is one of the original